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The Opening of Frontier Trade

the bounds of the frontier." A number of different parties of traders from Presidio del Río Grande and Laredo in June 1838 brought horses, mules, and a small quantity of flour, beans, and other eatables into San Antonio for sale. By the end of the month, however, most of these, except a few former residents of Béxar including three women, had returned to their homes in northern Mexico. But other traders soon appeared, and several traders from Béxar made profitable visits to Laredo and to the Río Grande settlements above that place. Those Mexicans who returned to San Antonio to take up residence once more in the city, reported the justice of the peace, "say nothing in particular respecting the state of public affairs in the Republic of Mexico, but one with the other agree in saying that for the present their is no talk of an expedition against Texas; and that the ports of the Republic are blockaded by the French squadron."[10] 

A party of Texans ranging west from San Patricio a few miles below the Nueces in September met a small detachment of Mexicans driving a number of mules loaded with provisions, supposedly for Savariego's men. Upon seeing the Texans, the Mexicans instantly took flight, leaving their pack animals and the provisions to be seized by the Texans.[11] 

During the next few months, with the opening and expansion of the frontier trade, lawlessness along the southern and western perimeter of Texas became much intensified, with every messenger from the west "bringing intelligence of new depredations committed either by lawless bands of our own citizens," declared the Telegraph,[12]  "or by parties of Mexican marauders." In the closing days of the Houston administration a joint committee of Congress, appointed to prepare an address to the people of Texas about the frontier situation, made its report.[13]  The proposed address was adopted in the House on the 12th and in the Senate on the following day. It called upon "Texians" to "unite and march to the aid and rescue" of their defenseless frontier, and declared "it is also a matter of extreme regret to us, that the Executive has wholly failed and neglected to give that aid to the frontiers which their exposed condition so imperiously demanded."

10. Erasmo Seguin to the Secretary of State, San Antonio, June 30, 1838, in Domestic Correspondence (Texas), 1836-1846, ms.

11. Telegraph and Texas Register, Oct. 13, 1838.

12. Oct. 20, 1838.

13. [Texas Congress, Joint Committee of], Address of Congress to All the People of Texas, broadside; Telegraph and Texas Register, Sept. 15, 1838.

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AFTER SAN JACINTO: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1836-1841
Joseph Milton Nance, 1963